Anni Albers Design for Smyrna Rug 1925

  • Not on view

Albers was one of the most esteemed students of the weaving workshop at the Bauhaus, the influential German school of modern art, architecture, and design that she first attended beginning in 1922 and subsequently taught at starting in 1928. She often began her weaving projects with design sketches, such as this drawing for a rug. In this study, she explored the theme of horizontal-vertical construction using color, shape, proportion, and rhythm. The design reveals her admiration for the work of the painter Paul Klee, who also taught at the school.

Of the weaving workshop, she later observed, “Technique was acquired as it was needed and as a foundation for future attempts. Unburdened by any practical considerations, this play with materials produced amazing results, textiles striking in their novelty, their fullness of color and texture, and possessing often a quite barbaric beauty.”

Albers used textiles as her primary artistic medium for almost forty years, experimenting directly with innovative materials and creating prototypes for industrial production. She was as acclaimed for her activities as a teacher and writer on design and weaving as she was for her textile designs. Albers continued to explore relationships of color and line, most markedly after 1963, when her interest shifted to printmaking.

Publication excerpt from MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019)
Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on paper
8 1/8 x 6 9/16" (20.6 x 16.7 cm)
Gift of the designer
Object number
© 2024 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Architecture and Design

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